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Have you ever been hacked? If your answer is No, you should be grateful.

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Hacking is as dreadful as a burglary or a robbery. Possibly even more dreadful, ‘cos if you’re hacked, all your files, bank accounts, pictures, identity, messages and many more are seen by a stranger that may be living in the pacific! The attacker can even impersonate you; I mean, you can be in Nigeria and someone is using your face to buy weed in Indonesia.

You may not totally avoid getting hacked but having mitigation in place can reduce the impact of the damage it can have on you!

Still wondering why it’s important?

Imagine this story, Bankole is the typical ‘tech bro’ that we all hailed because he buys everyone drinks without blinking. He is the guy many girls want to date even though he’s always busy. On a fateful day, he needed to submit a Microsoft document to a client which was way overdue… Unfortunately, his Microsoft Word activation had expired, which meant that he could neither edit nor save the document.

Commercial Software are usually distributed with protection methods so that unpaid users do not get a chance to use them. Protection methods include registering online before use, entering a serial code etc. Sometimes, software come as ‘trial versions’ with a limited number of days to use (fully functional in most cases).

These methods are broken by programmers who know reverse engineering. If you are familiar with programming, you might have come across assembly language. Programmers work with them to crack software.

Cracking means modifying the program in a way that the distributor (the person who made the program) doesn’t want. Cracking also causes loss of profit to the distributor. — Govindarajan Devarajan

In a haste, he decided to buzz his friend who told him about a website where he could easily get a cracked version of Microsoft Word… What a relief. He went ahead to download it, and his Windows Defender sounded the typical alarm ‘This file is harmful and can damage your computer, download anyway?’ He ignored it of course, because he was in a hurry.

File downloaded. He unziped it and clicked install, ignoring the warning from Windows Defender for the second time…


Just like in the movies, his PC screen just flashed. He was suspecting what the reason could be, as techie wey him be… Then his doomsday started; he started getting security notifications from Gmail. He hurriedly deleted the files and started Windows Defender to scan…but it failed. He took his PC offline.

Banky the techie started sweating and he was happy he was able to successfully change his email passwords. He kept on trying to use Windows Defender to scan the PC, but the malwares had taken over everything, and Windows Defender was not working as it should. Just to add to his sorrow, a friend called him to inform him that he’d seen Banky’s nudes on his Instagram and Facebook pages. It was at this moment that Banky knew that he f*cked up!

Fast forward to the end of this short sad story, he lost his 5year old Instagram and Facebook accounts to the attacker, and in the 5 months that followed the incident, he still got prompts of attack attempts. This was not all. Banky also lost all his files ‘cos he had to format his PC, since the malware had taken it all over. A single file wrecked Bankole and traumatized him. Thankfully, he could restart, but imagine if his bank account details or information about his crypto wallets were gotten as well.

What is the solution? What is to prevent you from meeting the same fate as Banky did? Cybersecurity.

Tell me about Phishing too.

It’s not a big word as many portray it, and it’s simply the act of keeping yourself and your property (data, secret chats, social media) safe from attackers. You may not be the TECHIE, but there are little steps that can protect you.

I’ll drop these tips, take them to heart like your second name!

  1. Avoid clicking on a link you’re not certain about even if it’s from your mom. You know all those ‘Freebies’ links, and those ‘Meet fine girls here’ and some links that look safe but are not? Yes, them. A good website to verify if a link is good or bad is VIRUSTOTAL. Just paste the link there and they’ll tell you if it’s safe or harmful.
  2. Avoid spams on all platforms. Don’t hesitate to use your ‘Block and Report’ button when someone keeps sending you unsolicited emails or chats.
  3. Any website that has http:// rather than https:// in its address should be avoided, please. It’s a potentially malicious website.
  4. Always use 2-Factor authentication/Verification on your accounts online including your emails and apps.
  5. Whenever you input a password on a website and your device prompts to save it… select NO, don’t save your password on device, it can easily be compromised.
  6. Don’t use your name, age, job title, location, family name or school in creating passwords. Always ensure your passwords have numbers and signs like £$%&#.
  7. Always update your devices. Whether phone or computer, the companies release these updates to ensure that your devices are up to date and consequentially keep you protected from some malicious attacks.
  8. Look before you leap. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. So, avoid.
  9. Lastly, remember to trust but verify!

This entry was made by Olaitan Olajobi, a graphics designer, a cybersecurity enthusiast and clearly a badass writer 😃 See more from him on Instagram




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